German government officials are standing firm in a decision to support passenger data transfer and retention despite objections to another personal information database.
Privacy concerns have been raised by Andrei Hunko, a member of the Bunderstag, who suggests that such a database would violate fundamental privacy rights. He believes that the tracking of potential terrorists or ‘persons of interest’ can be done with the information that already exists and there is no need for ‘yet another’ database, to which ‘police and intelligence agencies would have unlimited access’.
The German government insist that ‘urgent action is needed in the Federal Government’s view’ and suggest that a way to counter the threat that Jihadists returning from Middle Eastern war zones could potentially have across the EU.
Plans for the EU Passenger Name Records (PNR) database were suggested back in 2011 and although the German government are in support of these plans, they do concede that five years is too long a time for the retention of such information as a fundamental violation of privacy rights.
In May this year, the European Court of Justice ruled for the invalidation of EU laws governing the retention of personal passenger data, so the battle is far from won.